F.I.B stumbled into a fantastic surprise while checking out the AGHAST Open Studios around the Gowanus on Sunday. You know how F.I.B is somewhat of a scavenger so it was my pleasure to discover a place with the D.I.Y asthetic that F.I.B loves....
The Reanimation Library!
It is a functioning collection of books that “Head Librarian” Andrew Beccone gathered from the streets, thrift stores, garage sales and the like. The books range in subject from technical manuals of all kinds to books on automotive subjects, electronics, nature, cosmetology, chemistry, film, etc. Most books are from the pre-digital age and are the type that have great illustrations,charts and logos.
All books are available as reference sources for artists, writers and “other cultural archeologists” to use. The Reanimation Library is comprised of three distinct yet interconnected collections, each of which supports and is driven by the mission of the Library: the Primary Collection, the Reference Collection, and the Copyright Collection. There is also a small gallery section at the library where works of art that used the libraries services are shown. You have got to check it out!
Andrew is an actual librarian and has catalogued the books using the Library of Congress system. Andrew is also an artist himself. He has made photocopy collage and appropriation work in limited edition books and for fliers for bands he's played in the Minneapolis area as well as for gallery shows. He claims (on the website) his work gets great response from prison inmates but I am sure he is just being modest.
Please note that you can’t take the books home but you can use the available scanner and photocopier to get the info you need. The library is free but a donations are much encouraged!
The Reanimation Library's website is chock full of detailed information about the collection and how Andrew came about making it become a reality.
The Reanimation Library is located in the Proteus Gowanus Complex at 543 Union Street near Nevins.
Hours are Thursday/Friday 3-6PM and Saturday/Sunday 12-6.